Economics is about scarcity. Resources are scarce, so how does society decide who gets what? In Britain, we use a ‘market’ system where prices determine the decisions made by consumers and firms. The government is also involved in ‘managing’ the economy but how is success measured? Economists look at growth, inflation, unemployment and trade to measure economic performance. To study Economics, you must follow what is happening in the ‘real economy’. How are Britain, America and Europe dealing with the banking crisis and the global downturn? Why is George Osborne making big cuts in public expenditure and how will this affect our economy?
Economics is a challenging academic subject and requires analytical and mathematical skills. Grade B in Mathematics and English is the minimum requirement.
To encourage students to develop a keen interest in the subject and begin to think as an economist. To provide the foundation for studying economics at a higher level and equip students for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult working life.
The course consists of four units:
· Competitive Markets – how they work and why they fail: This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines the operation of markets for goods and services. It looks at how the price mechanism works as a means of allocating resources, and uses supply and demand analysis to look at real world situations. It also looks at situations where markets do not work, such as with pollution. It examines the nature, causes and possible remedies for market failure
· Managing the economy: This unit provides an introduction to the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of government policy. It looks at the different approaches and policies a government could use to manage an economy, and how they may be judged as successful or not.
· Business economics and economic efficiency: This unit examines how the pricing and nature of competition between firms is affected by the number and size of market participants. It also looks at government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.
· The global economy: This develops the second unit by examining the position of the UK in the context of the world economy. It looks at trends and developments in the global economy over the last 10 years, and assesses the policies which might be used to deal with economic problems.
The specification involves no coursework. For the AS units there are two 1½ hour exams and each is 25% of the overall mark. For A2 there is one 1½ hour paper and one 2 hour paper and unit 4 is 30% of the overall mark. The papers involve a mixture of multiple-choice, data response and one essay question (unit 4).
The course gives students access to a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. A degree in Economics offers careers in banking, finance, business management and the civil service. Economics combines with other disciplines such as mathematics and the social sciences to enhance degree opportunities.
For further information please contact Mr Boland – Head of Economics.